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NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at the biggest storylines from Sunday
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 27: Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints is tackled by Ty Summers #44 of the Green Bay Packers during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 27, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys

NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at the biggest storylines from Sunday

Our NFL Week 3 Recap takes a look at the biggest storylines from Sunday’s NFL games. This week, we’re starting the NFL Recap with why the Taysom Hill experiment needs to stop, NFL Week 3 Duds ‘n’ Studs, including Nick Mullens, Tyler Lockett, and a look at 3-0 teams in the AFC – Bills, Steelers, and Titans. We also dig further into the struggling Philadelphia Eagles and their rough start to the 2020 season.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to jump around throughout this column, use the black box above titled “In This NFL Week 3 Recap…” At the end of each segment, you’ll see a divider that allows you to scroll back up to the top of this page if you wish to keep jumping around. If not, keep scrolling!

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NFL Week 3 Recap | Someone please make Taysom Hill stop

OK, Sean Payton. We’ve had some laughs and generated a few stray highlights over the past three years. But it’s time for you to stop foisting Taysom Hill on an unsuspecting public. The experiment is over. As NFL Recap is here to hammer home, the Neverending Taysom Hill Wildcat Project is not just costing the New Orleans Saints a lot of money; it’s costing them games, including Sunday night’s 37-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers. 

Taysom Hill Recap

Hill rushed two times for six yards, caught one pass for one yard, and fumbled once in Sunday night’s loss. 

The reception came on third-and-three in the second quarter, when Hill caught a screen and was immediately swarmed by defenders who sniffed out the play the moment the Saints lined up. A promising drive stalled, and the Saints settled for a field goal.

The fumble came just two plays after the Saints stuffed the Packers on fourth-and-one with the score tied 27-27 early in the fourth quarter. Hill replaced Drew Brees on second-and-three, got sloppy during a zone-read exchange, and lost the football when defender Za’Darius Smith popped him. Smith popped it, and the Packers were a short drive away from a go-ahead field goal.

Two plays, two rally killers for Hill.

What it means

No one but Payton believes that Hill is really good. Oh, television broadcasters love him, and folks on Twitter enjoy dunking on his theoretical supporters, but the only segment of the fanbase that thinks Hill is some sort of secret Lamar Jackson-type just waiting for his opportunity probably also thinks that Microsoft puts mind-control fluoride in the water supply to make us think we need to wear masks.

Hill has now rushed 71 times for 381 yards and three TDs in his career, caught 24 passes for 253 yards and six TDs, and is 7-of-14 as a passer for 157 yards, zero TDs, and one interception. Sunday’s fumble was the second of his career. That’s it. That’s what all the fuss is about.

Hill produces the kind of numbers you would expect from some Dion Lewis-caliber all-purpose back pulled off the waiver wire, mixed with the passing ability of some former high school quarterback like Greg Ward of the Philadelphia Eagles. Hill should be covering kicks, playing 10 snaps per game in the slot, and running about three gadget plays per year. Payton insists on listing him on the depth chart as a quarterback and giving him several high-leverage touches per game.

Yes, the Saints are short on weapons with Michael Thomas hurt, so they need to diversify their offense. One reason they are short on weapons is because they are paying Hill $17.4 million guaranteed over two years — they could have gotten Robby Anderson for that kind of money — and noodled with Hill in 2018 and 2019 instead of carving out a larger role for someone like Tre’Quan Smith.

Also, the Packers were without Davante Adams last night, but you didn’t see Matt LaFleur saying, “Hey, Jace Sternberger: You played quarterback in high school, so go run the Wildcat on fourth-and-one!” In fairness. Aaron Rodgers would have blown up LaFleur’s car with a grenade launcher if he tried it.

Hill is the El Camino that Payton bought at a sheriff’s auction and spends his weekends trying to polish and tune-up when he should be taking the kids to soccer practice. His friends all tell him the car/truck/whatever-an-El-Camino-is-supposed-to-be is cool, and in theory, it is kinda cool, but they are all sick of hearing his plans for it, worry about how much money he has sunk into it, and don’t dare go for a ride in it, because they don’t want to break down on the freeway.

What’s next for Taysom Hill and the Saints?

Maybe Hill will wear a #83 jersey and do nothing but chase punt returners when the Saints host the Lions next week. On the other hand, Matt Patricia is such a terrible coach that when Hill lines up for his obligatory zone read, the entire Lions defense will think they are witnessing sorcery and give up a touchdown.

NFL Week 3 Recap | Nick Mullens, Tyler Lockett highlight NFL Week 3’s Duds ‘n’ Studs

NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at the biggest storylines from Sunday

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 27: Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after missing a catch due to a pass interference by Jourdan Lewis #26 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter in the game at CenturyLink Field on September 27, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Tyler Lockett puts up big numbers for the Seattle Seahawks. Nick Mullens leads the San Francisco 49ers JV squad to a victory. The New England Patriots shuffle their offensive line without missing a beat. And a New York Jets running back believes he can fly, but he can’t, because he’s a New York Jets running back. All this and more in NFL Recap’s Week 3 Duds ‘n’ Studs!

Stud: Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Rivers passed 60,000 career passing yards and threw his 400th touchdown pass in Sunday’s 36-7 Colts victory over the New York Jets.

There are only five quarterbacks ahead of Rivers on the all-time touchdown list: Dan Marino (420), Brett Favre (508), Peyton Manning (539), Tom Brady (547 after Sunday), and Drew Brees (552 and counting). The same five players rank ahead of Rivers in all-time passing yards; you can check out the numbers here.

Is Rivers a future Hall of Famer? The numbers say yes; the politics of Hall of Fame balloting (a huge backlog of qualified players, the fact that San Diego is no longer an NFL city) and Rivers’ weak playoff record say no. But Rivers’ continual climb up the leaderboards makes one thing clear: He’s a much better candidate than Eli Manning.

Stud: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Lockett caught nine passes for 100 yards and four touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Lockett used to be a “best-kept secret” type because the Seahawks’ often-dysfunctional offense (terrible line, weird fetish about handing off on second-and-14) kept him from putting up big numbers. He caught 82 passes for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but even those are not Julio Jones/Michael Thomas like numbers, even though on film Lockett has looked for years like a Jones/Thomas caliber receiver.

Lockett is now on pace for 128 catches, 1,381 yards, and 21 TDs. No, he won’t catch 21 touchdown passes. But he’s fully capable of say, 128 catches for 1,381 and 14 touchdowns or so. In other words, the Seahawks have finally stopped holding their best players back. 

Dud: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Tennessee Titans

Johnathan Joseph intercepted a perfect Kirk Cousins pass — a perfect pass to Joseph, in other words — and raced to the end zone for an easy pick-6 to start the second half of the Titans’ 30-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, Clowney was flagged for an illegal block when he decked Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson during the return. 

Actually, Clowney made an instinctive play and threw what looked like a nasty block. The real “dud” is the NFL’s rule about blocking back toward a team’s own end zone, which is counter-intuitive, especially after a turnover. The rule theoretically prevents injuries, but in nearly every instance NFL Recap has seen, it’s just a “gotcha” foul penalizing a football player for doing football stuff on a football field.

Stud: Nick Mullens, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Mullens completed 25-of-36 passes for 343 yards, one TD, and zero turnovers while spreading the ball out to 10 different targets in the San Francisco 49ers 36-9 win over the New York Giants. Sure, all Mullens did was toss short, scripted passes in an immaculately-designed game plan while the 49ers defense did much of the dirty work. That’s all Jimmy Garoppolo really did, too.

Dud: Kalen Ballage, RB, New York Jets

The Jets achieved peak Jets the moment that Ballage caught a dump-off (consummate Jets play call) on third-and-23 (typical Jets situation) while trailing 31-7 (also a typical Jets situation) and attempted to hurdle Indianapolis Colts defender T.J. Carrie. Carrie saw the mistimed leap coming, so Ballage ended up dropping crotch-first onto Carrie’s shoulder pads just as Darius Leonard arrived to help drive him backward.

You’re the fourth-stringer on the worst team in the NFL, Kalen: Take the easy catches and yards the defense gives you and just try to get off the field with your dignity.

Defensive Player of the Week: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Indianapolis Colts

Rhodes recorded two interceptions against the Jets, including a pick-6 on the Jets opening possession. Accomplishments against the Jets should come with a grain of salt, but Rhodes gets this week’s award anyway because: a) it’s great to see him playing well after he spent last season in Minnesota getting burned like a fajita pan; and b) turning a Jets game into a laugher right away so fans can quickly change the channel is almost a public service.

Offensive Line of the Week: New England Patriots

The Patriots were forced to shuffle some bodies on the interior due to an injury to David Andrews. Joe Thuney started at center for the first time in his career, with sixth-round rookie Michael Onwenu replacing Thuney at left guard. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (filling in for Marcus Cannon, who opted out of the 2020 season) all remained in their usual spots.

The reconfigured unit got off to a rocky start but dominated the line of scrimmage by the end of the Patriots’ 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Patriots finished the game with 250 rushing yards, while Cam Newton was sacked just twice.

Special Teamer of the Week: Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker, Tennessee Titans

Gostkowski kicked six field goals, three of them 50-plus yarders, including a 54-yarder late in the fourth quarter and a 55-yard game-winner. 

Special Teams Goat of the Week: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Pollard muffed a first-quarter kickoff in the end zone, pouncing on the ball at the one-yard line. Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed for a safety on the following play. Special teams errors? Predictable, easy-to-stop play calls in critical situations? Are we sure the Cowboys changed coaches?

Best Supporting Actor in Someone Else’s Highlight: The Packers defense on Alvin Kamara’s 53-yard TD

Which Packers’ dove at Kamara’s feet or otherwise missed a tackle on the Kamara screen that went from what looked like no gain to one of the year’s best highlights? Which Packers defenders didn’t miss a tackle on that play? Will Redmond, Ty Summers, Adrian Amos, Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, and Tyler Lancaster all whiffed or got shrugged off by Kamara on the catch-and-run.

NFL Week 3 Recap | The NFL’s Most Disappointing Teams: Where do the Jets, Vikings, and Falcons rank?

NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at the biggest storylines from Sunday

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 27: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked by Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter of an NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

There’s a difference between a merely bad team and a truly disappointing team. Any team can start the season with a few losses, but much more was expected of the NFL’s biggest disappointments. NFL Recap counts down the teams that leave you feeling the way mom and dad felt when they found those rolling papers in your school bag in ninth grade: not necessarily angry, but very, very disappointed. 

Honorable Mentions

  • Cincinnati Bengals 0-2-1: Joe Burrow looks sharp, so what is there to be disappointed about?
  • Detroit Lions 1-2: Climbed off the countdown with a last-second field goal and a 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Denver Broncos 0-3: Their season ended in August when Von Miller got hurt.
  • New York Giants 0-3: They’re precisely as bad and boring as anticipated.

New York Jets: Sixth most disappointing team in the NFL

The Jets are putrid. But they are not very disappointing because we all knew they would stink like a trash bag full of diapers left under a railroad trestle in August. Also, they barely qualify as a “team.”

Is Adam Gase on the hot seat?

He’ll blame injuries and Sam Darnold for Sunday’s 36-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, even though lots of teams are coping with injuries, and developing Darnold is supposed to be both Gase’s professional specialty and his most important job.

Minnesota Vikings: Fifth most disappointing team in the NFL

On the one hand, they are a rebuilding team that lost a lot of talent in the offseason, so some tough losses are inevitable. On the other hand, they are rebuilding around Kirk Cousins, so a season of intense growing pains is unlikely to be worth it in the future. 

Is Mike Zimmer on the hot seat?

Nah, the Vikings wouldn’t keep extending Cousins if they didn’t perceive close losses as moral victories.

Dallas Cowboys: Fourth most disappointing team in the NFL

The Cowboys would be 0-3 if the Atlanta Falcons knew how onside kicks work. They start each game looking like they were doing beer bongs in the parking lot before kickoff, then spend the rest of the game playing desperate catch-up. They are deeply talented on offense, and they should easily win the NFC East (even if they finish 8-8), but their early-game blunders are maddening.

Is Jason Garrett on the hot seat?

Yes, it’s finally time for Jerry Jones to kick Garrett to the … oh wait, he did that last year! Mike McCarthy is now the head coach! It’s an easy mistake to make because the Cowboys have somehow become even more self-destructive after the coaching change.

Houston Texans: Third most disappointing team in the NFL

The Texans season is essentially over after losses to the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, that early schedule was brutal. But the Texans excel at falling behind in the second half and thinking, “Oh well, this ain’t happening” and just surrendering. And, unlike most of the other teams on this countdown, they have been relatively lucky when it comes to injuries: they’re this mediocre by design.

Is Bill O’Brien on the hot seat?

O’Brien is his own boss. He’ll just give himself another bad performance review. And then possibly a raise.

Philadelphia Eagles: Second most disappointing team in the NFL

The Eagles have been so bad so far that they earned their own NFL Week 3 Recap segment.

Is Doug Pederson on the hot seat?

What part of “their own NFL Recap segment” didn’t you understand? 

Atlanta Falcons: Most disappointing team in the NFL; most disappointing institution in modern society

Watching a Falcons game is like being a preteen child whose parents recently divorced, waiting for dad to come take you fishing for your birthday, getting two phone calls from dad swearing that he’s just running a little late, waiting all day on the porch with the tackle box in your hand and visions of stripers in your head, swearing through tearful eyes to mom that he’ll arrive any minute now when she calls you in for dinner, finally giving up to go cry in your room at sunset, and running outside when you hear his car pull up at bedtime to find that he is drunk and just came over to tell you that he never really wanted children. Then he runs over your dog as he pulls away. 

Is Dan Quinn on the hot seat?

Dan Quinn should be exiled to an island in the Arctic Ocean. NFL Recap will be stunned if he’s still employed when you are reading this.

NFL Week 3 Recap | Bills, Steelers, Titans: Will the real Super Bowl contender please stand up?

NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at the biggest storylines from Sunday

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: T.J. Watt #90, Derek Watt #44 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans talk after Pittsburgh’s 28-21 win at Heinz Field on September 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs are the best teams in the AFC, and the NFL Week 3 Recap has nothing to say about them right now because they square off on Monday Night Football. But the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans are all 3-0 after Sunday’s action. Which of these challengers deserves the coveted mantle of Third Best Team in the conference? And are any of these team really Super Bowl contenders? NFL Recap breaks down the AFC playoff field after Week 3.

Are the Buffalo Bills Super Bowl contenders?

Sunday’s Week 3 Result

The Bills almost went full Atlanta Falcons, blowing a 28-3 third-quarter lead and trailing the Los Angeles Rams 32-28 late in the fourth quarter. But Josh Allen led the Bills on an unlikely final drive — highlighted by a third-and-22 conversion, Allen getting flagged for grabbing the facemask of the defender trying to sack him, and a ticky-tack defensive pass interference foul on fourth-and-nine — to give the Bills a 35-32 win. 

The good

When Allen is on, he’s a top-10 NFL quarterback right now (the NFL Recap computer nearly crashed the moment we typed that sentence. Yet it’s true). Weapons other than WR Stefon Diggs stepped up on Sunday, led by WR Cole Beasley (six catches for 100 yards, including that third-and-22 conversion) and TE Tyler Kroft (two touchdowns). The offensive line played well for two-and-a-half quarters before Aaron Donald went Super Saiyan. The defense hustles in pursuit and in coverage.

The bad

The Bills have been outscored 61-34 in the second half through three games. The whole team appears to let up after halftime for some reason every week. Allen fumbled and threw an interception in the second half. The run defense, which is supposed to be one of the team’s strengths, has allowed 106 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush through three games and is surprisingly soft up the gut.

AFC Power Ranking: Third

The Bills look every bit as good as the Ravens and Chiefs in the first halves of games, then look like 2000-2018 Bills for a while before getting their act together before the final gun. They have the highest upside of any of the AFC challengers. And they have spent the last three years slowly improving, so there is reason to believe that they can clean up some of the defensive lapses and second-half “brownouts” as the season wears on. 

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl contenders?

Sunday’s Week 3 Result

The Houston Texans took an early 14-3 lead, but no team in the AFC coughs up a lead quite like the Texans (no group of humans in the history of Western Civilization coughs up a lead quite like the Falcons, but we’ve already ripped them once in this segment).

The Steelers defense forced an interception and lots of three-and-outs to help Ben Roethlisberger and the offense claw their way back for a 28-21 victory, which wasn’t quite as close as the score (the Steelers ended the game by kneeling at the Texans four-yard line). 

The good

The T.J. Watt/Bud Dupree-led pass rush produced five more sacks in Week 3, bringing their season total to 15. The run defense is allowing just 2.7 yards per rush. The Steelers offense is deep with weapons, with James Washington (five catches for 36 yards) stepping in for injured Diontae Johnson and guys like TE Eric Ebron (5-52-1) and RB Anthony McFarland (42 rushing yards) making contributions to supplement the usual efforts from James Conner (18-109-1 rushing), Juju Smith-Schuster (4-43-1) and others. 

The bad

Roethlisberger misfires on some routine throws. The offense produces too many three-and-outs, which keeps opponents in games. In the rare instances when opposing quarterbacks have time to throw, there is usually someone open downfield. The New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans won’t win the Steelers many strength-of-schedule debates. 

AFC Power Ranking: Fourth

The Steelers defensive front will make them dangerous against any opponent, including the Ravens and Chiefs: They have the speed to chase down Lamar Jackson and to make life miserable for Patrick Mahomes. But the Steelers don’t appear to be consistent enough in other areas to overtake the Ravens and win the AFC North just yet. Maybe that will change as Roethlisberger scrapes off rust, and their offense finds a better rhythm. Until then, the Bills both look better than the Steelers and have a clearer shot at higher playoff seedings. 

Are the Tennessee Titans Super Bowl contenders?

Sunday’s NFL Week 3 Result

The Titans came back from a 24-12 third-quarter deficit for a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings thanks to some big plays by WRs Corey Davis and Kalif Raymond, three 50-plus yard field goals from Stephen Gostkowski, and a few typical acts of Kirk Cousins incompetence. 

The good

Don’t let the ordinary final stats (321 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT) fool you: Tannehill had another strong game, with several deep throws to get the Titans into scoring position. Gostkowski appears to have solved the Titans kicker problem after a shaky performance in Week 1.

The bad

Everything about this team screams “Wild Card” except their record and their schedule. Their pass defense and coverage are ordinary at best, and Dalvin Cook gouged their run defense for most of the game.

Derrick Henry keeps putting up strong numbers (26-119-2 with a pair of one-yard touchdowns on Sunday), but the Titans offense really plods along when they force-feed him the ball early in games, which is why they settled for 12 field goal attempts in three weeks. Left tackle Taylor Lewan’s shoulder injury on Sunday bears watching, as the Titans are built to live and die in the trenches. 

AFC Power Ranking: Fifth

The Titans have the highest floor but the lowest ceiling of the 3-0 AFC challengers. They’re built to grind out a winning record in a weak division. And that’s precisely what they will do. Just remember that they reached the 2019 AFC Championship and invested a lot of money in Tannehill and Henry, so they are expected to do quite a bit more.

The Titans may have beaten the Chiefs and Ravens last year, but the team we have seen through three weeks would be no match for the new, improved Chiefs and Ravens this year. 

What’s next for the Bills, Steelers, and Titans?

The Titans host the Steelers and Bills in Week 4 and 5. So if NFL Recap was dead wrong to rank them fifth, they will soon prove it.

NFL Week 3 Recap | Bench Carson Wentz? Fire Doug Pederson? Everything is on the table for the 0-2-1 Eagles

NFL Week 3 Recap: Looking at some of the biggest storylines of the day

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after throwing an incomplete pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 27, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bengals tied the Eagles 23-23. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Bench Carson Wentz! Fire Doug Pederson! Throw the Liberty Bell into the Delaware River! Switch to tofu cheesesteaks! NFL Week 3 Recap headquarters is located in the shadow of Lincoln Financial Field, so we know how the Philadelphia Eagles phaithful will respond to their Week 3 23-23 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Is it too soon to grab the pitchforks and torches and storm the NovaCare Complex demanding the heads of Wentz and/or Pederson? Maybe. But NFL Recap believes that the Eagles organization needs to at least start thinking about taking some drastic steps.

How did the Eagles vs. Bengals game end in a tie? 

Wentz threw two interceptions, bringing his season total to six. The Eagles’ play-calling was suspect, leading to three-and-outs and stalled drives. The Eagles defense couldn’t get off the field when it mattered, allowing Joe Burrow to lead three second-half scoring drives to give the Bengals a 23-16 fourth-quarter lead.

Wentz then ran for a touchdown to tie the game with 21 seconds left. Overtime brought all the entertainment and delight you might expect from a scuffling would-be contender playing down to a rebuilding team with a rookie quarterback and a terrible offensive line.

The Eagles and Bengals skated to a 13-13 tie back in 2008, a game which became the stuff of Philly sports legend when Donovan McNabb later admitted that he didn’t know the overtime rules, which explained some odd decisions and a lack of urgency when the game was on the line. This game made that one look like Super Bowl LII by comparison.

What does it mean for the Eagles? Let’s tackle the pressing Eagles questions one by one.

What’s wrong with Carson Wentz?

His mechanics and timing are wonky and he doesn’t trust what he sees. Wentz races through his progression too quickly, ignores open receivers, and makes his decisions a split-second late, leading to some wild throws, easy interceptions, tipped balls, and unnecessary sacks.

Should the Eagles bench Carson Wentz in favor of Jalen Hurts?

It’s fun to clamor for the rookie on sports talk radio, but the Eagles are on the hook for at least $34-million in guaranteed money through 2021 and tens of millions in cap space after that, so it ain’t happening. Also, Wentz has been successful enough in the past that he deserves the chance to shoot his way out of his slump. For what it’s worth, Hurts made a brief Wildcat cameo on Sunday. He fumbled. 

Should the Eagles fire Doug Pederson?

As Tony Pauline reported for Pro Football Network last week, there are rumbles around the league that the Pederson era has run its course. That said, a Super Bowl ring followed by a pair of playoff appearances buys a coach a very long runway. But the Eagles offense has problems that go beyond Wentz’s mistakes.

The running game disappears from the game plan for quarters at a time. The Eagles attempt end-arounds and receiver screens at weird times. Players miss obvious assignments. Right now, the Eagles play as though Pederson doesn’t trust Wentz, Wentz trusts neither the play calls nor his receivers, and no one trusts the offensive line.

Should the Eagles fire a coordinator?

Passing-game coordinator Press Taylor (the brother of Bengals coach Zac Taylor) has some “rising star” coaching cred, but the further he has gotten promoted through the Eagles coaching ranks, the further Wentz and the passing game have regressed. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is more likely than Taylor to get sacrificed at the altar of Pederson’s credibility.

The Eagles defense looks OK on the stat sheet (neither the Bengals nor Washington Football Team will be mistaken for the 2007 New England Patriots anytime soon) but still gives up too many third-and-long conversions and makes mistakes and penalties in bunches.

What the Eagles really need right now are fresh ideas, not sacrificial firings: There’s no “next Frank Reich” lurking on the coaching staff (though third-string QB Josh McCown looks a little Reich-like at times …)

Should the Eagles trade everyone over the age of 30 for draft picks before the deadline?

Well, maybe not everybody. But it’s time to listen to offers, especially when some of the older veterans in the locker room were grumbling over money before the season even started. Whatever the Eagles manage to do over the next three months, players like Fletcher Cox, Jason Peters (injured late on Sunday), Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, and even Zach Ertz will be over the hill by the time they’re Super Bowl contenders again. If a veteran isn’t doing something to stabilize the offense and get Wentz back on track, then he should be potential trade bait. 

What’s next for the Philadelphia Eagles?

The Eagles actually came back from that 2008 tie against the Bengals to win four of their last five games, get hot in the playoffs, and reach the NFC Championship game. But that was the last hurrah of the Andy Reid-McNabb era: They were a rebuilding team that did not realize it just yet. 

The 2020 Eagles could still make a playoff run in the weak NFC East, but the current configuration of the team has clearly run its course. That may not mean that the Wentz and/or Pederson era is over, but it’s time for fresh coaching voices and to prepare for a youth movement.

It’s hard to imagine the Eagles with a better record than 1-4-1 after their upcoming San Francisco 49ers-Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens slate. At that point, Pederson could lose the confidence of the veterans in the locker room. Assuming, of course, that he has not already lost it.

Mike Tanier is the Senior NFL Writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @MikeTanier.

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